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Demaryius Thomas injury update: How to handle the Patriots WR vs. the Steelers

New England’s fourth receiver is dealing with a hamstring injury. Here’s what that means for fantasy.

New York Giants v New England Patriots
New England Patriots wide receiver Demaryius Thomas celebrates after scoring a touchdown during the preseason game vs. the New York Giants at Gillette Stadium.
Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images

Editor’s update: The Patriots have not ruled out wide receiver Demaryius Thomas, but his status is in doubt, according to NFL Network reporter Ian Rapoport. The team does not want to aggravate his hamstring.

Demaryius Thomas is one of three players from the New England Patriots listed as questionable ahead of the team’s season opener against the Pittsburgh Steelers. Thomas is dealing with a hamstring injury, but he did manage to practice, albeit in a limited role, in the week leading up to the game.

Trying to decode the Patriots’ injury report is a tough one to crack for even the most seasoned Bill Belichick watchers. But it’s a good bet that Thomas will be able to play this week, given his appearances at practice.

Thomas was cut and re-signed by the Patriots after the preseason this year. No doubt they’ll be counting on him to play a bigger role in the offense in the wake of rookie receiver K’Neal Harry’s injury. Offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels should is certainly familiar with him, having drafted him during his troubled stint as the Broncos head coach. But at this point in his career, it’s hard to see him being much more than a player that is capable of having the occasional big week on the stat sheet.

Fantasy impact: Outside the obvious core players in the New England offense, namely Julian Edelman, it’s hard to know exactly who’s going to be favored in the offensive game plan from week to week. Assuming Thomas does play this week, he’s still fourth on the depth chart.